The US government has extended again for the nth time the Covid-19 public health emergency past mid-July even though daily new cases of COVID-19 infection have declined since the Omicron surge.
The Department of Health and Human Services has continually extended the public-health emergency since its implementation in January 2020.
The declaration allows the US to grant emergency authorizations of drugs, vaccines, and other medical countermeasures and has enabled millions of Americans to get health coverage through Medicaid, among other benefits, according to Bloomberg.
On April 16, Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, extended the public health emergency an additional 90 days through mid-July.
Now, HHS is set to extend the public health emergency again for another month.
The US government will extend the Covid-19 public-health emergency past mid-July, a move to continue pandemic-era policies as the nearly 2-1/2-year outbreak drags on.
On April 16, HHS extended the public-health emergency an additional 90 days through mid-July. The declaration will be extended beyond that period, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named as the details aren’t yet public. That means various measures to relax restrictions in how care is accessed across the health system will continue.
An HHS spokesperson said that the public-health emergency currently remains in effect, and the department will continue to provide a 60-day notice to states before any possible termination or expiration.
National health organizations, including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have lobbied for the designation to continue.
Last week, the groups wrote a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra urging the Biden administration to maintain the emergency “until it is clear that the global pandemic has receded and the capabilities authorized by the PHE are no longer necessary.”